Adorazione del Bambino (c.1475-1480)

Lippi, Filippino (1457-1504)

Adorazione del Bambino (The Adoration of the Child)
Oil on poplar panel, 81.5 x 56.3 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

A winged angel, a woman, and a baby are gathered on a terrace that overlooks a softly lit landscape in this vertical painting. The people all have parchment-white skin tinged faintly with green, delicate gold halos, and they are close to us. The baby is round and plump, and faces us as he lies on his side on a carpet of pine-green grass dotted with small white and pink flowers. A band of caramel brown spans the lower edge of the painting. Propped up on one elbow, the baby turns his blond head to look at the woman kneeling beside him to our right. The woman, Mary, towers over the baby with her body angled slightly to our left. A midnight-blue cloak trimmed in gold is wrapped around her coral-red gown. The fingertips of her raised hands lightly touch as she bows her head and lowers her brown eyes to look at the child. A transparent white veil drapes over her blond hair. To our left, the angel also kneels and looks down at the baby with arms crossed over the chest. The angel has curly, copper-red hair and wears a carnation-pink robe over a transparent chemise. Semi-transparent, bronze-colored wings nearly disappear into the background. Just beyond the trio, a low balustrade with an opening near Mary encloses the space. A colonnade with arched openings extends into the distance to our left, behind the angel. A flat, olive-green wall rises the height of the painting behind Mary. Between them, the landscape is carpeted with moss and celery-green grass, and dotted with trees. A river winds toward slate-gray hills in the deep distance. (NGA)